Friday, May 6, 2011

Osama unarmed: White House changes its story

White House spokesman Jay Carney

Calls grow for photographic proof as Obama’s team admit first version of events was inaccurate

LAST UPDATED 8:03 AM, MAY 4, 2011
Calls for the US to provide photographic or video proof of Osama bin Laden's death are gaining strength as the Obama administration back-pedals on what actually happened when 24 US Navy Seals raided his compound in Pakistan on Sunday.
White House spokesman Jay Carney (above) says the public would find the photographs "gruesome". But as The First Post showed with its photo essay posted yesterday, this has rarely stopped Americans showing off its dispatch of "bad guys" in the past.
THE CHANGING STORYOsama bin Laden was not armed when he was shot dead by a US Navy Seal in his bedroom on the third floor of the Abbottobad compound, the White House confirmed yesterday. Neither was he using his wife as a "human shield".
The revelation is a reversal of what President Obama announced on Sunday in his dramatic late-night televised address, and what John Brennan, the White House counter-terrorism adviser, told reporters on Monday.
The new version of events was presented yesterday by spokesman Jay Carney. He said Bin Laden's wife had rushed one of the Seals and was shot in the leg but not killed.
Carney also said: "Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was not armed."
Asked how he had resisted if he was not carrying his AK47, as the world were originally told, Carney refused to be specific but said resistance does not require a gun.
THE MISSING PROOFThere is said to be an ongoing debate within the White House as to whether photographs of Osama Bin Laden's dead body should be released. Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday the pictures of Bin Laden's face were "gruesome". Part of his skull was blown away by the single bullet.
There is also the issue of whether a photo would inflame opinion in the Islamic world. Already, many extreme Muslims are mourning Bin Laden and threatening retribution.
But the need to prove the death of America's public enemy number one is likely to outweigh such sensitivities. CIA director Leon Panetta told NBC he was sure "ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public".
LIFE AT THE ABBOTTOBAD COMPOUNDNeighbours have been talking to western reporters about the comings and goings at the compound where Osama bin Laden had been hiding out for the past six years.
The BBC interviewed a 12-year-old boy who claimed he had met members of the family and been given two pet rabbits as a gift. Zarar Ahmed said: "I used to go to their house. He had two wives, one spoke Arabic, and the other one spoke Urdu. They had three children, a girl and two boys."
A clue that something was amiss was that if local children kicked a football over the high exterior walls, they were not allowed to get it back. According to the Daily Mail, instead they were given 100 to 150 rupees to go away.
RELATIONS WITH PAKISTANOutgoing CIA director Leon Panetta has confirmed that Pakistani authorities were not warned about the US Navy Seals' mission to get Bin Laden - because they could not be trusted.
"It was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardise the mission," Panetta said. "They might alert the targets."
President Zardari has denied that Pakistan sheltered terrorists, describing it as "the world's greatest victim of terrorism" in an article for the Washington Post. Bin Laden "was not anywhere we had anticipated he would be".
This has not persuaded western sceptics who believe that Bin Laden could not possibly have lived for six years in Abbottobad - the Pakistani equivalent of Sandhurst - without the connivance of the Pakistani Army and/or its intelligence service, the ISI.
Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate armed services committee, says they have "a lot of explaining to do".
Both the US Senate and the UK Parliament are set to discuss cutting aid to Pakistan. The US currently gives $1.3 billion a year. Britain gives £650 million.
THE BIN LADEN 'WILL'Osama bin Laden expressed a wish that his children not go to "the front" or join his organisation, al-Qaeda, according to a document alleged by a Kuwaiti newspaper to be his will. He also requested that his wives not remarry after his death, and apologised to his sons, saying: "Forgive me if I failed to devote more of my time to you since I answered the call to Jihad".
The will, dated December 14, 2001, suggests that Bin Laden believed his life was in danger following the attacks of 9/11, as US forces began to hunt for him in Afghanistan. "I have chosen a path fraught with dangers and endured hardships, disappointment and betrayal," he wrote.
The document ends with a call for jihadists across the world to "fight against the Jews and the Crusaders and start to purge your ranks of agents and defeatists". 

No comments:

Post a Comment